FALS Toolkit: Oikocredit, ASKI, NWTF Philippines

Financial Action Learning System (FALS) Toolkit produced as part of the Bridging the Gender Gap project implemented by Oikocredit, ASKI and NWTF in Philippines and funded by Church of Sweden.

Oikocredit FALS Overview: interactive pdf presentation (to be revised and updated at the end of the project)

FALS Phase 1 Catalyst Tools

September 2017: Five tools were introduced through a 5 day workshop with 20 client ‘champions’ and core implementing staff. Following the workshop and further training of staff by the MFI Tool 5 Loan management Calendar isbeing  integrated into the Loan Management process.

  • Tool 1: Vision Journey:  introduces basic drawing, diagramming, participatory and planning skills: What does a happy family look like? what are women, men and children doing? what do they have? who owns what? what is the role of micro-finance? What is there already? what important changes are needed? What are my opportunities and challenges to reach my vision? What is my target by the end of the loan cycle, and what are the steps to achieve it?

Oikocredit FALS Tool 1 Vision Journey mobile version.


  • Tool 2: Financial Empowerment Map: Looks at emotional, financial and power relationships that can help or constrain progress, including access to financial resources and people they can share the empowerment tools with. As well as increasing understanding of clients’ lives by FSP staff, this tool forms the basis for the upscaling plan and identification of champions who might be paid in future.

Oikocredit FALS Tool 2 Financial Empowerment Map mobile version

Oikocredit_2_FinancialEmpowerment Map_Presentation

  • Tool 3: Happy Family Tree: Looks in more detail at division of work, expenditure, assets and decision-making in the family. How to make these both more efficient and equitable. This tool forms the basis of empowerment and gender indicators for SPM, and a tool that can be used and aggregated to assess change.

Oikocredit FALS Tool 3 Happy Family Tree mobile version.


  • Tool 4: Increasing Income Challenge Action Tree: Identifies in more detail recurrent challenges in production, marketing and household, looking at gender issues and role of micro-finance. This Tool is also used by the FSP for participatory market research on specific products and services.

Oikocredit FALS Tool 4 Business Challenge Action Tree

  • Tool 5: Financial Management Calendar : A plan for business and financial management, integrating learnings from the Happy Family Tree, Financial Empowerment Map and Challenge Action Tree.  The tools is tracked as a tool for learning to manage businesses and finance better. At FSP level this becomes over time a required part of the loan application process, and assessing applications for loan rescheduling. When applying for loans clients need to bring any previous FMCs and a new FMC for the loan being applied for.

Oikocredit FALS Tool 5 Financial Management Calendar mobile version.


FALS Phase 2: Client Empowerment Deepening

March 2018 (forthcoming) a further 5 day workshop is being held to review the changes and tools so far, and bring them together to deepen client empowerment, particularly on gender issues.

  • Tool 6: Client Empowerment Diamond :  looks at gender issues that constrain women and men from achieving their full potential. This builds on the discussion from Tool 3 Happy Family Tree and serves as a retrospective review of the changes that have happened because of FALS. It also identifies client priorities for further changes. These then enable client-led identification of gender indicators that can be integrated into SPM and used as a gender checklist for assessing product innovation. This same tool can be used with staff as part of development of an organisational internal gender policy.

Oikocredit Tool 6 Gender Empowerment Diamond

  • Tool 7: Empowerment Vision Highway : brings together the Loan Management Calendar, Happy Family Tree/Client Empowerment Diamond and Financial Resources/Change Leadership Maps into a 3 lane ‘Highway’ plan. This is used to summarise the economic, gender and leadership changes that have happened because of FALS, and plan further change on all three lanes for the next loan cycle.

Oikocredit FALS Tool 7 Empowerment Vision Highway

FALS Phase 3: Sustainable Mainstreaming

FALS is a two year process and goes therefore beyond the one year pilot project. Sustainable mainstreaming entails FALS integration into:

  • Loan Management: Full integration of the Loan Management Calendar, backed up by the other tools in case of repayment difficulties into the loan application process implemented by loan managers. This has started with the pilot, but requires a couple of loan cycles to fully refine and train all project management staff and the clients.
  • Other capacity building, and possibly addition of other PALS/value chain/GALSatScale tools.  This has started – for example use of the Vision Journey for staff career planning. But needs further training of the MFI in other PALS tools. Integration serves to reduce costs of FALS training and means that other trainings are further strengthening client planning, participatory, communication and analytical skills.
  • SPM as client empowerment and gender indicators with manageable modes for collection of information by loan management and/or SPM and/or other research staff.
  • Product innovation and market research process: this requires capacity building, piloting and refinement of a further Tool 8: Win-win product innovation tree (based on other PALS Challenge Action/Win-win trees in value chain development).


GALS Catalyst Process Kyrgyzstan

GALS Catalyst Workshop, Naryn May 2016 Photos

Soulmate Visioning

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Gender Diamonds

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Household Efficiency Tree

Gender Challenge Action Tree

Mothers-in-law: Why their daughters-in-law do not love them

Daughters-in-law: Why their husbands are jealous

Men: Why they do not have enough income for the family

Discussing Upscaling plans

Community Day

Notebook Diaries


Farewells at the Trout Farm

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Lilian and Evalina Mtaita, Chome, Vuasu Cooperative, Same Tanzania

Lilian Mtaita was among the first champions at the Vuasu Catalyst Training in October 2013. After the training she went back to school because her vision was to study nursing and become a good nurse. But she taught GALS to her mother, Evalina Julius.

Evelina has learnt good farming practices and livestock through her Vision journey. Lilian and her mother are now keeping exotic cows, which her mother planned through her Vision Journey.

Lilian explained to her mother the Gender Balance Tree. They saw that if they work together on one thing they can increase income. She used to use an axe to get firewood for household now her husband does. He also helps with cooking eg while she comes to meetings. The family is in the process of registering land at village office.

Together they did the Leadership empowerment map. Evelina learnt more tools and trained 30 other people trained in her VICOBA savings and credit group. They have introduced her to other crops etc.

Ahadi, Gandu, Vuasu Cooperative Union, Same, Tanzania

Ahadi was one of the first champions invited to the GALS Catalyst workshop in Same, October 2013. At that time he was ill with HIV/AIDS and at first did not have so much conficence. He was also one of the champions without much formal education. But as the workshop progressed he became much happier.

Since then his health has improved and he got married. He has also helped other friends in his community, some of whom were also HIV positive.

Mustafa Hoseni Msuya, Vuchama, Vuasu Cooperfative Union, Same, Tanzania


SIMU: 0763310339

Personal Statement

Mimi ni mkulima wa mazao mbalimbali katika kijiji cha VUCHAMA kata ya MWANIKO wilaya ya MWANGA, mkoa wa KILIMANJARO. Nilizaliwa mwaka 1964 katika kijiji cha Vuchama. Nimeoa nina watoto saba wakiume 4 na wa kike 3 wote wamesoma hadi kidato cha nne mmoja ni mwalimu mdogo yuko darasa la 7.
I was born in Vuchama village back in 1964, located at Mwaniko ward, Mwanga district in Kilimanjaro region where I still resides. I am a farmer, husband and a father of seven children (4 sons and 3 daughters). The last born is in standard seven and the rest have completed secondary education and one is a teacher
Kwa bahati mbaya mke wangu alifariki dunia mwaka 2002. Niliwajibika kuoa mke mwingine ili anisaidie kulea watoto. Hali hii iliniongezea familia hali ambayo hata mimi sikuipenda. Watoto wote wanasoma na wale wa kike wakubwa anajitegemea kwa sasa pia wananisaidia katika masuala mbalimbali. Unfortunately my wife died in 2002, I had to marry another woman to help me raise the children. The number of headcount increased in my household, something I did not like. My older daughters have own houses, they often assist me and my household because other children are still in school.
Mimi binafsi nafanya kazi katika chama cha Ushirika. Nilianza kazi mwaka 1988 mwaka 1998 niliomba kusimama kutokana na Vuruugu la soko la uria. Mwaka 2008/2009 Bodi iliniita tena baada ya wale walioajiriwa kusababisha hasara, hadi leo nafanyakazi hapo.Nimepata mafunzo mengi kama hivi:
From 1988 I worked at Vuchama /Ngosi Primary society, I resigned in 1998 due to problems brought by the free market. The new primary society employees brought a very big loss which made the Board to hire me again in 2008/2009 in which I still work. During my course of employment I have received different trainings as follows
 Uhasibu chuo cha ushirika – Moshi Accountancy at Moshi Cooperative college
 Huduma ya kwanza ya mifugo chuo cha mifugo – Tengeru Arusha Livestock first aid at Tengeru livestock college-Tengeru Arusha
 Elimu ya kupambana na Ukimwi. Shirika la KIWAMWAKU kwa mafunzo hayo nilianzisha kikundi cha kina mama kupambana na ukimwi.kwasasa niko GALS tangu niingie GALS nimegundua kuwa sikufanikiwa hapo mwanzo kwani sikujua nini maana ya fursa, changamoto nk.HIV/AIDS training through KIWAMWAKU NGO, through this training I established a women group to fight AIDS. Since I received GALS training I have realized that I was not succeeding enough because I did not know the opportunities and challenges that I face
a) Njozi mbalimbali Different dreams and vision
b) Barabara ya malengo kufikia njozi The road to take to reach the dreams
c) Mti wa usawa wa jinsia Gender equality tree
d) Uwezeshaji jamii Community mobilization
e) Mti wa Biashara n.k Business tree e.t.c
Mafunzo niliyopata ya mwanzo yalinipa uelewa mkubwa.Kupanga malengo kwa kuyafikia.Katika mafunzo haya mti wa usawa wa jinsia umeleta msaada mkubwa katika jamii namna ya kufanya kazi kwa pamoja. Nimeanza mafunzo kwa jamii na baadhi yao wamefikia uelewa. The training I received gave a great understanding on setting vision and ways to reach them, furthermore gender equality training have helped the community on how to work together as a team. I have started training others and they understand very well.
Mimi kwa kutumia dhana za GALS nimegundua kwa nini nilikuwa nashindwa kufikia malengo. Through GALS I have discovered why I could not reaching my goals
Changamoto katika kufundisha jamii ni kupewa maji ya kunywa. One of the challenges I face when training other community members is, there is no any allowance provided.
Watu wa eneo letu wanalima zao la kahawa ambalo limeshuka sana na sasa wameanzisha zao la vanilla wengi wao ni wale wanaoshiriki mafunzo ya GALS. Majority of GALS trainees have started vanilla production because profit from coffee has dropped. Most of community members are coffee farmers.
Mafunzo mengine niliyopata ni Uongozi ambayo yamefanya nielewe: – Kanuni za Biashara na Masoko yenye faida. Kabla ya masomo sikuelewa kutafuta masoko,mti wa Biashara,uzalishaji na hesabu zake. Hivi sasa naelewa fursa na changamoto zote. The training that I have received includes leadership, business rules, profitable markets, business tree, production and accounting. I did not know anything about this, now I understand opportunities and challenges in front on me
Chama cha Vuchama kina wanachama 520 wanaoendelea na chama kwa kuuza sasa ni 3. Kwa jinsi mafunzo ya GALS yalivyo baada ya Uongozi kuyapata huenda kwa malengo ya kurudhisha idadi ya mwanzo.Tunajitahidi kuelimisha hadi tutakapofikia lengo. After receiving GALS training, the Vuchama Primary Society leadership set a vision to add more members to exceed 520 present members
Baada ya maelezo yote hayo wakufunzi wetu wameamua kunipeleka Uganda sehemu iitwayo BUKONZO JOINT UGANDA kuona na kujifunza jinsi walivyofikia mafanikio ili turudipo tuendelee kutoa mafunzo tuliyoona na siyo tuliyosikia, pengine itakuwa changamoto kwa wengine. Our trainers took me to Bukonzo joint in Uganda for a field visit to learn how they have succeeded so as to motivate our farmers based on what we saw and learnt
Kwa sasa nipo katika maandalizi ya kwenda Uganda na baada ya hapo nipo tayari kutoa elimu popote ndani na nje ya kijiji,kata,wilaya , mkoa na Taifa na hata nje ya nchi pia nipo tayari kwenda kujifunza popote.Tunaomba uwezeshwaji mara kwa mara. As for now I am in the final preparations to visit Uganda and learn more. After this visit I will be capable to train farmers in other villages, wards, districts, regions and other countries as well. We ask for more frequent trainings in any place.
Asanteni Mwisho The end. Thank you Wenu Yours Mustafa H. Msuya

Vuasu Review and Livelihoods and Leadership Strengthening Workshop July 2014

About the workshop

The Vuasu Review and Livelihoods and Leadership Strenghthening Workshop was a 3 day workshop co-funded by Hivos (for the review and livelihoods) and Tutunze Kahawa Limited (for leadership and governance). This was the first workshop after the withdrawal of Tutunze’s commercial operations in Kilimanjaro and was intended as a workshop to strengthen the capacity of the Vuasu GALS champions to continue the GALS process independently from TKL.

The workshop was co-facilitated by Linda Mayoux and Grace Murungi.

Participants were

8  original champions (5 women and 3 men) from the GALS Catalyst workshop:

Vuasu Operations Manager (man):

2 new and active champions (man and woman):

  • Paulin
  • ??

Participant expectations

for the training  were to:

  •  develop further skill in GALS tools in order to train other people
  •  learn to facilitate better and reach out to other people
  •  learn livelihood tools to expand business and start new business ventures
  •  be trained in good leadership skills in order to make changes in their communities

From the expectations above participants were divided after the Multilane Highway review into two groups:

  • livelihood tools: Hawa, Yona, Khatib, GoodnessPrayGod, Ahadi,  Paulin, ??
  • leadership skills: Lickson, Anna, Elisante and Dina.

Facilitation skills  were reinforced and discussed as the trainings went on, partly through participants facilitating themselves for parts of the time. Some people moved from one group to another to learn as much as they could from each.

Vuasu Review: Day 1 Multilane Vision Journey

The training started with the song of Empowerment Leadership Map (Ni mpango shirikishi) champions started drawing multilane monitoring to track down the changes in their lives and also number of farmers trained in GALS since the first training.

Champions drew a multilane of process since November 2013 when they were trained. The multilane consisted of three lanes on Vision Journey, Gender Balance Tree and Empowerment Leadership Map, following the usual way, the opportunity that helped them to reached the goals and challenges that they face, champion were explained that they continue to plan or to monitor whenever opportunities and challenges emerge. On the multilane, the milestones explained the actions on the three lanes, the milestone were split in quarters depending on champions plans, by July 2014 recorded all what had been achieved and the years target remained at October 2014.

GALS facilitation skills were revised with champions allowing each champion including the new ones to facilitate, applauding, singing and pair wise discussions were part of the training throughout the training session

Livelihoods Strengthening Days 2 and 3 


The participants began by brainstorming individually, then sharing, ideas on possible businesses to diversify their livelihoods. They identified  40 different enterprises,  including:

  1. Clothes enterprises
  2. Wood enterprises
  3. Maize business
  4. Cosmetics enterprises
  5. Seedlings business
  6. Groundnuts selling business
  7. Chicken business
  8. Hair dressing saloon
  9. Restaurant business
  10. Butchery business
  11. Fish selling business
  12. Water selling business
  13. Kiosk (retail shops for household goods)
  14. Pharmaceutical business
  15. Veterinary business
  16. Car selling
  17. Agricultural inputs business
  18. Motorcycle hire business
  19. Grain business
  20. Hard ware business
  21. Cattle fed business
  22. Chicken feed business

Business and coffee trees

Champions were then asked to choose one business that they would really implement when they went home. They were then taught the business tree and drew these for their chosen business, and also for coffee in their notebooks.

Business market map

The group was also trained on market mapping where the champions were asked to identify markets around them, challenges and opportunities were identified on each path, the market mapping was to assist champions to find new markets and look into prices of goods sold in different markets and getting right communication channels.

Business and coffee multilane vision journey

Champions were also trained on coffee business tree multilane where they analyzed income, expenditure and profit, champions realized that coffee is profitable and committed to increase production by practicing good agricultural practices, the coffee multilane is split into the activities of the coffee calendar by monthly .

 Leadership Strengthening Days 2 and 3

Why do you want to be a leader? reflection and visioning

Participants were asked to why they wanted to be leaders. All participants came up with 5 different reasons why they wanted to be leaders. The next step was to draw a good leader, how a good led community would look like, and what does a good leader do? Different drawings came from all the participants explaining qualities of what they thought a good leader is! Discussions came around what they highlighted as qualities of a good leader for example one participants drew a fat man seated in front of thin people giving instructions to them as his car was parked by the side. From different discussions came from the group on what they all agreed as qualities of a good leader:

  • cooperative
  • hard working
  • listens to people
  • visionary
  •  optimistic
  • contributes to the needs of the society
  •  cares for people
  • is a doer
  •  is a good advisor
  •  is a good manager

A leadership song was composed based on the qualities of a good leader and participants were asked to draw in their notebooks qualities of a good leader based on the decided upon qualities.

Leadership Diamond tool

Participants were asked to draw a shaped diamond and two lines were drawn to split and a middle line was drawn, on the left side qualities of a good leader were drawn, and on the right qualities good members were drawn and down wards left side, were qualities of bad leaders and right side qualities of bad members.

After the discussions, the similar qualities of both members and leader were drawn in the middle of the diamond tool; also the bad qualities were changed into positive and drawn in the middle, participants came to a consensus on qualities of both members and leaders.

Consensus on good leadership and good membership

Leader Qualities for both Member
  • Good manager
  • Good implementer
  • Good advisor
  • Good listener
  • Cooperation
  • Hard working
  • Attendance
  • Visionary
  • Responsible
  • Contributor
  • Caring


Organisational governance map

The participants then came together to draw an institutional relationship map of Vuasu and the primary cooperatives. They discussed

  • how the system worked for decision-making and benefits – which decisions are made where and by whom
  • how far leadership was a challenge at the different levels
  • specific barriers to women becoming leaders

The conclusion was that much of the challenge was due to political interference in approval of candidates and into the voting meetings themselves. This meant that even if good people were proposed and accepted their nomination, they could not even be presented for election.

Leadership Vision Journey

After the discussion on the Diamond the champions reviewed their leadership visions and drew their own vision journey for leadership in their community and/or cooperative.